Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Michelle Obama elevates politics in her symphonic endorsement of Barack

It was four hours of political stump-speeches, topped by the First Lady's endearing, eloquent and both compassionate and passionate rendering of both her life and her husband's life, supported by loving, poor and committed parents and grandparent. We share the same values of patience, perseverance, willingness to face the obstacles head-on, sacrifice and hope that were the foundations on both of their respective families of origin.
During the first evening of the Decmocratic Party's Convention to nominate the president for a second term, we heard from Ted Kennedy in a video retrospective, President Carter in a warm and authentic endorsement of President Obama, Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick on his litany of the mess left by his predecessor Mitt Romney in the state's governance, and keynote speaker Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas, a Latino rising star in the Democratic galaxy, also raised by his grandmother and his mother in poverty, only to attend both Stanford and Harvard Law, with the support of the federal government.
Themes like a woman's right to choose, there is more than "making money" driving the motivations of all of the speakers, the need for government assistance to lift people through the rough patches, the commitment to every child and family, regardless of race, gender or ethnicity on the part of the whole society through specific goals and accountability in the worst schools like Orchard Park in Boston, the commitment to both hard work and perseverance, a woman's legitimate right to make the same dollar for the same work as a man (women currently make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes), the dedication to results over ideology and the promise of mature, effective, courageous and inspiring leadership with "another four years" of the Obama presidency.
And this party is "all over" the family values theme, in both a pragmatic and an inspiring way that reaches beyond the kind of narrow and punishing policies and rhetoric coming out of the Republican party. Yet there was little rancour, and little defaming of their opponents, and even less bitterness given the kind of obstruction and united commitment from Republican leaders to "making Obama a one-term president, and to the secret meeting on the night of his inauguration to obstruct his every move so he would have no accomplishments on which to run for a second term.
Not only that, but every month, we learn that private funds are pouring into the Romney campaign coffers, according to public reports, $100 million in each of the last three months, from donors like the Koch brothers, whose interests in smaller government and fewer regulations for their oil investments, thereby generating more profit for their many corporations, while the Obama campaign coffers depend, much more heavily on the small $5 and $10 donations from ordinary citizens.
If ever there were a "David and Goliath" campaign, this is it.
And if ever there were a need for Democrats to become "fired up and ready to go" in order to protect the safety net, and the commitment to all American people of every race, gender and ethnicity, as well as a foreign policy agenda and approach that is demonstrably more balanced and more restrained, along with the commitment to generate the needed millions of new jobs, especially in clean energy (something the Republicans never speak about) and in government regulation of the kind of greed and narcissism that we witnessed in the 2008 Wall Street debacle, the election of 2012 is that time.
And, if Michelle Obama's address, blending both love and vision,  humility and hope, intelligence and inspiration, confidence and courage does not serve to push her husband over the finish line on November 6, on election night, no speech can accomplish it.
She was not only masterful in both the writing and delivery, she was commanding and human at the same time, as "mother-in-chief" her primary role, as she herself says. Michelle Obama, on behalf of her husband, made history last night, in delivering one of, if not the, best political speech we are going to hear in this election cycle.
In the baseball parlance so common at elections, "she hit the ball out of the park!"
And it was a privilege and an honour to watch, listen and shed a tear in both awe and hope!

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